Sunday, September 3, 2017

When you hook an outdated and misstated statistic onto a completely bogus one, you get a new myth


At LinkedIn Pulse on August 18, 2017 there was an article by D. John Carlson (Skeptic and Strategist) titled 74% experience speech anxiety that also was posted on his web site.  

It began by claiming that:

“A survey of 5.3 million Americans found that 74% suffer from speech anxiety.”

Both those numbers actually came from the Fear of Public Speaking Statistics web page at Statistic Brain. 74% is listed for Percent of people who suffer from speech anxiety, but 5.3 million is listed for Number of Americans who have a social phobia.

In a blog post on July 15, 2012 titled Another bogus statistic on the fear of public speaking I noted that the 5.3 million just was an outdated statistic. In another blog post on December 7, 2014 titled Statistic Brain is just a statistical medicine show I noted that the 74% was bogus, and it didn’t come from the National Institute of Mental Health as was claimed. There never was a colossal survey of 5.3 million Americans.

Mr. Carlson’s About web page claims that he:

“is well known for debunking myths, testing assumptions, questioning intuition and distinguishing fact from fiction – delivering the benefits of objective, critical at lateral thinking to maximise return on investment.”

But this time he wasn’t skeptical at all. Instead he created a new myth.

1 comment:

Cleon said...

Dr. Garber's research has always amazed me since first meeting him. Thank you for the corrected facts Dr. Garber.